My daughter has had two root canal treatments, since then she has also had infected salivary glands, twice in eight months. Is it possible for a root canal to re-infect and spread to the salivary gland?
A root canal treatment can fail. When that happens, they need to be re-treated though the chances of success with a retreatment run about 50-75% of the time. This can happen through no fault of the dentist. Some of the canals can be nearly impossible to find.
If the tooth were still infected, then getting an x-ray should reveal that. If it is infected, it is theoretically possible that it could spread to a salivary gland. However, I would look for other causes as well. Even if there is root canal failure, it is not an automatic answer about her salivary gland infections.
When a Root Canal Treatment Keeps Failing
In some cases, a root canal just never works. This can be because a patient has an infected canal that turns on a 90-degree angle, which makes it impossible for the file to get to all the infected tissue. This infection will continue to spread and turn into a dental emergency.
To protect your daughter from it turning into a life-threatening emergency, you would need to have her tooth extracted. The biggest problem that follows that is the expense of having to replace the tooth.
You didn’t mention her age. If she’s an adult, then a dental implant would be the ideal solution. However, if she’s still in her teen years, her jaw is still developing. In that case, I would just get a dental flipper. This is a temporary tooth replacement that is much less expensive. It should last her until she is old enough to get a dental implant.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.